Get Over Yourself: How your Mindset is Affecting Your Results (and your life)

 

By Ali Ludovici

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Having had the honour of successfully coaching many clients in health and wellness, in addition to my own experience as an athlete and weight-loss journey, I can tell you with certainty, that mindset is the single most important element of success. If you don’t have the right mindset it doesn’t matter how credentialed your coach is, what exercises you are doing or what diet you are on, success will be elusive.

What you perceive and believe creates your reality. Though you may be predisposed to a positive or negative mindset, you can choose your perception (how you interpret the world) and your attitude (your beliefs and reactions/interactions).

In the world of health and wellness, your mindset will determine whether you succeed in achieving good health and peace with your body and food. You can purchase all the nice workout gear, fancy gym memberships, coaching, and diet plans you want - if you don’t have the right mindset, you won’t achieve what you desire. So what exactly is the right mindset?

Believe in yourself

Your body and mind are intimately connected; if you believe you can, your body will find a way. Disbelief leads to self-sabotage as you will create your reality to prove your mindset correct. Set your goal and believe in your ability to achieve it. You are stronger and more capable than you give yourself credit. Just because you can’t do something today, doesn’t mean you won’t be able to in the future. Keep working and believe in yourself. In time, you will amaze yourself with what you have accomplished.

Focus on the solution

Your health and wellness journey will certainly have its ups and downs. There will be nights you don’t have the energy for a butt-kicking workout and the days where you just don’t have time to pack a healthy lunch, don’t beat yourself up. No road to success is straightforward or easy - but all good things are worth the effort. In fact, having to put in some challenging work and overcome a few obstacles, makes you value your success that much more. You can choose to focus on the obstacles, or you can choose to focus on the solutions. “Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off your goal”, Henry Ford.

Be positive in your self-talk

Many of our limitations are created within our own mind. You tell ourselves you aren’t good enough, strong enough, fast enough. You create excuses and barriers where there needn't be any. What you tell yourself, your mind believes. Change the way you talk to yourself and you infinitely increase your ability to succeed. Tell yourself it is possible, believe it is possible and you will be amazed at what you can accomplish. Challenge yourself to replace any and every negative thought, with a positive (and realistic) alternative.

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Seek pleasure and balance

Despite the “hustle harder” and “no pain, no gain” mentality perpetuated by some fitness personalities, exercise and good nutrition can be pleasurable. You can enjoy both health and, athleticism while having a fulfilling and joyful personal life. While I do encourage every woman to lift weights for the physical and mental benefits, I also encourage them to seek exercise they find pleasurable. Whether you enjoy swimming, yoga, running, kickboxing or pole fitness, find something that gets you sweaty and smiling. When it comes to nutrition, trust the innate wisdom of your body. As long as you are predominantly eating whole foods (healthy fats, proteins and carbohydrates) with a plant-based focus, you are welcome  to enjoy a treat now and again. Balance, pleasure and respecting your body and its wisdom, is how you will discover a fulfilling healthy lifestyle.

Focus on Abundance

When trying to achieve a specific fitness goal, you will likely need to be more diligent with your nutrition and fitness routine. You can choose to focus on the lack; of calories, indulgent foods, and changes to your social life.  Or you can focus on the positive; your improved aesthetic, all the delicious nutrient dense foods, and the pleasure in seeing results. If you perceive your journey as a punishment, you will have a negative experience that will work against you and increase your odds of rebounding. Choosing to see the positive, you will have a more pleasurable journey and be more likely to create a healthy lifestyle with life-long reward.

Your mindset is the single greatest influencer on your reality. You can choose to have a pleasurable journey towards achieving your goals; you can choose to see yourself as a strong, capable woman; you can choose pleasure and balance. You can also choose to see the opposite. Your reality, your success, is in your control.


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Ali Ludovici is a blogger at Charm and Grit, writing about fitness, nutrition and strategies for extraordinary living. As a wellness and mindset coach, she specializes in helping women create healthy and fulfilling lives they love. Ali promotes respecting the innate wisdom of your body, doing exercise that gets you sweaty and smiling, as well as recognizing the power of your mindset to create your desired reality. She is well known for her tough love attitude, no excuses mindset and her supportive positivity. She is a natural bodybuilder, who also enjoys yoga, running and trying new forms of fitness. Ali is on a mission to inform, inspire and empower women to live extraordinary lives.

 

Sticks and Stones May Break my Bones, but Words Will Never Hurt Me? A Look at Self-Deprecation

By Stephanie Hutchinson

“I need to lose weight”: a phrase I have heard enough times in my life that I would put the count in the billions. It has been echoed from my mother, my aunts, my grandmothers, my friends. It reverberates across coffee-dates, playdates, and family vacations. It is such an accepted phrase, it is said with the same intonation as “I need to buy groceries.” Those five words are offered up as a conversation starter; an appetizer to a meal of self-deprecation and loathing. If those words could kill, they would be dialed right in on your self-worth.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”: a childhood phrase that seems to span the test of time. We say this when faced with bullying and hurtful words are flung from peers, but what of the thoughts and words we fling at ourselves? What do we do when we stand before a mirror, pinching our skin while judging our bodies, bit by bit? Those hurtful, self-inflicted thoughts don’t go away. In fact, they seem to plant seeds and take root while feeding on what little confidence is left. We start fearing hot weather and the skin-baring clothes that come with it. We stop taking our children to public pools in fear of having to bear-all in a swimsuit. We fear photos of family memories. We miss out on memories made with our families and friends, debilitated by the belief we are unworthy.

“I am strong. I am confident. I am wonderfully and fearfully made.” Last summer, I had the amazing opportunity to take part in a Women’s Wellness Conference as a speaker. Near the end of the day, after many had opened up about personal struggles and endeavors, everyone was asked to line up in front of a mirror. Looking down the line, you could see each woman fidget while avoiding glancing at her reflection. It was obvious how uncomfortable it made each one. Then, one by one, they were asked to look up and describe the woman reflected. As it went down the line, there was a common theme: none of these strong, beautiful, inspiring women had one positive thing to say to their reflection. It was heartbreaking. Some commented on their size. Some on their face or skin. They were each encouraged to say one nice thing. It was difficult, and some just couldn’t. In response, each woman was then coached to see what was truly there in the mirror, and say “I am strong. I am confident. I am wonderfully and fearfully made.” Just as the personally inflicted negativity tore these women down, this simple phrase seemed to build them up. Tears began to roll as each woman heard the self-love she had been longing for.

I have been on both sides of the coin: the mom at the beach, covered up and afraid to bare any skin; and the mom proud of her shape and size, enjoying a family moment at a beach without fear of personally built limitations. I have been 20 pounds lighter than I am and 20 pounds heavier. Even at my lightest weight I have stood in front of the mirror disgusted with what I have seen. Instead of loving my body for growing our children, I have counted down the days until I could return to the gym to “get my body back.” I have been the mother, holding her cup of warm coffee, telling her friends “I need to lose weight,” wishing someone would tell me the contrary. But, the person saying that should be me.

It takes more than one instance of self-love to repair a lifetime of damage. Self-deprecation is an addiction that can’t be beat by a weight loss pill or spanx. You can’t base your self-worth on a number on the scale or the size of your pants. Your worth comes from the selfless love you have for your family, your willingness to provide a helping hand, and your ability to bring light to every room. You are amazing, not because of how much you can lift, but because of your tenacity and dedication to living a healthy and full life. Your self-worth comes of the many lives you touch during your walk on this Earth, and the good that you bring to every encounter. So, in case you forgot, you are strong. You are confident. And you are wonderfully and fearfully made.